Biography: Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card, born on August 24, 1951, in Richland, Washington, is the third of the six children of Willard and Peggy Card. His father was a college teacher, and his mother was a school administrator. He grew up in Santa Clara, California, Mesa, Arizona, and in Orem, Utah. Card is a descendent of Mormon leader Brigham Young, and as a young man, he was a missionary for the Mormon Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Brazil. He graduated from Brigham Young University where he studied poetry and theater. He began adapting scripts for productions and then wrote his own plays, which were produced at the university. There he also experimented with writing stories that became part of the Worthing Saga. In the 1970s in Provo, Utah, he started a theater company and became a copy editor for Brigham Young University Press. In 1976 he moved to Salt Lake City to become an editor at the Mormon Church’s magazine, Ensign, where he also published his stories.
Card wrote the short story “Ender’s Game” while working at the BYU press. Ben Bova at Analog Science Fiction and Fact published it in 1977. The same year he married Kristine Allen. This was the start of his writing career; he became a freelance writer and editor, winning a contract for his novels, Hot Sleep and A Planet Called Treason. In 1981 he received a master’s degree in English from the University of Utah and started a doctoral program at the University of Notre Dame, but he had to quit in 1983 to support his growing family. He found a job as editor for Compute! Magazine in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the same year, he received a contract for the Alvin Maker series, which allowed him to write full time.
Ender’s Game was published as a novel in 1985 and Speaker for the Dead in 1986, starting the Ender series of novels and comics. The first two books won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, the highest in science fiction, two years in a row, a feat that has never yet been duplicated. As of 2012, Ender’s Game is being developed as a film by Warner Brothers.
Card has written over sixty books, including the Ender series, the Hegemon or Shadow series, the Alvin Maker series, the Homecoming series, Maps in a Mirror series, the Worthing Chronicle series, the Women of Genesis series, and The Ultimate Iron Man graphic novels. He has won many prizes including the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in Young Adult literature. He is also an essayist, speaker, critic, columnist, and teaches writing workshops and university classes. Now residing with his family in Greensboro, North Carolina, Card is known for his lifelong commitment to the Mormon Church and the inspiration from Mormon scriptures in his fiction. Whether he writes plays, fantasy, or science fiction, his characters face difficult moral choices in a moral universe.